Tag Archives: Black 5

Jubilee close up

My previous post, about the proliferation of Jubilees in the Leeds area, drew a number of comments, one of which was, ‘how did they compare with the Black 5s’.  Today I had a flick through the latest Steam Railway, whilst standing in the supermarket, and in the Main Line running feature, Lo’ and behold, was an article  on No.45699 Galatea. I didn’t get chance to read the article, save that it mentioned that No.45699 Galatea had put in an epic performance and the engine she was being compared against wasn’t the Black 5 but a ‘Scot’.

My own work on the Jubilees is such that making a real comparison with the Black 5 is a little unfair. A dozen runs and half of them I was only riding out, while I was still just a cleaner, isn’t exactly ‘experience’. The longest trip I made on one was from Wakefield to Blackpool and back There were crews, at Farnley Jct, who often commented they’d as soon have a Black 5 as a Jubilee.  Having only been a fireman all I can say is that the Black 5 was a more forgiving engine. The Jubilees needed more careful firing, if you got too much fire down the front, under the brick arch, they would go sick on you. And trying to use fire irons, keeping them within the confines of the cab, when you’re on the move, is a risky and tricky business.

When first introduced the Jubilees did have a reputation as indifferent performers; and the level of superheating was considered the culprit.  Time and energy was put into improving their performance and, in 1937, No.(4)5684 Jutland was fitted with a Kylchap double-chimney and blast pipe Despite improvements in coal consumption, it was remved after a year. Several others were fitted with a standard  double-chimney only to have them later removed, a few did keep them though including the preserved No.45596 Bahamas.  However, it was changes to the chimney and blast pipe which were, eventually, credited with improving their steaming capabilities.

And you don’t create epic runs if you’re short of steam.

The photo shows Ex-LMS Jubilee No.(4)5690 Leander pulling away from Loughborough  Central  Station, on the GCR, with a TPO recreation.

If you have enjoyed my blogs – I have written a book about my 60 years involvement with railways, from trainspotter, via steam age footplateman, to railway author and photographer, this is a link to it: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gricing-Real-story-Railway-Children/dp/1514885751

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Only the numbers have been changed

45344exgoathIn the long running Radio 4 programme, ‘I’m sorry I haven’t a clue’, there was a feature, ‘one song to the tune of another’ – something like that is going on here. No.45428 is pretending to be No. 45344, an LMS engine, on a piece of North Eastern Railway, pretending to be a bit  Welsh for a few days. In 1948, No.45344’s first BR allocation was at 8A Edge Hill, in 1955 she was at 3C Walsall and in 1960 had a spell at 3A Bescot, in the photo it’s 6C Birkenhead – not sure what other allocations No.45344 had but those I’ve found in my own books and the shed code she’s carrying aren’t exactly Welsh depots – so ‘I’m sorry I don’t have a clue’ where she acquired a Welsh theme identity. I’m sure someone out there will though.

For some reason identity swapping is one of those subjects which seems to get some enthusiasts ‘all steamed up’ and there were several fulminations on the topic, to be found on social media, following the identity swaps for the NYMR gala. What never ceases to amaze me about these, often quite vitriolic,  rants is the seriousness with which the matter is taken.

I’ve been a railway enthusiast now for 60 years, I was a steam era footplateman, and am a preservation era photographer and author, on numerous railway topics, and one thing I can say is that railway preservation is to railways what Zoos are to living in the Amazon rain forest. The whole of railway preservation is one big theme park and swapping a few numbers around is just part of the entertainment, just the latest V 2.0 / update / reboot.  ‘I’ll get my coat / tin hat’.

If you have enjoyed my blogs – I have written a book about my 60 years involvement with railways, from trainspotter, via steam age footplateman, to railway author and photographer, this is a link to it:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gricing-Real-story-Railway-Children/dp/1514885751

These are some totally unsolicited comments from people who have already read  Gricing:  Amazon Customer on 6 Jan. 2016 Format: Paperback Verified Purchase:  “Brilliant and interesting book”

By Amazon Customer on 17 Mar. 2016

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase

“Not a murder mystery, but one that I found hard to put down. One of the best additions to my collection of books about railways.”

‘treated myself to a copy of “Gricing” for Christmas, excellent reading.’

‘I’m enjoying your book. It’s a real page-turner, thought provoking and great photos, to boot’

‘I bought and enjoyed “Gricing” etc and would heartily recommend it to readers’. 

‘I was given what I believe to be your book called “Gricing” the other night.  Very much enjoyed the book if it is yours!

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Taking the mickey

44871gbblackfordThere was a time when these engines were so commonplace that we barely noticed them – just another Mickey, just like the one before and all the other 842. Yes, I know some had Caprotti valve gear and a double chimney, there was one with outside Stephenson link motion and an odd self-weighing tender or two – I suspect, as much as anything, they were built, simply,  to relieve the monotony. Oh! and mustn’t forget those Timken roller bearings and that flash of yellow paint on their axle boxes.

My journey, nay pilgrimage, to Blackford to take this shot was around 40 miles; followed by ‘chasing the train’ to Blair Atholl and over Crubenmore to capture the slog up to Slochd summit. A whole day’s journey,  200 miles of motoring, through the highlands of Scotland, to take pictures of the same Black 5 at three other locations. If any of my chums, in the 1950s, had told me that I would spend loadsa money, a whole day,  and  drive 200 miles, just to photograph a Black 5 – I would have known they were taking the mickey.

No.44871 is just about to pass under the A9, between Blackford and Gleneagles, with this year’s GB Rail tour.

I have written a book about my 60 years involvement with railways, from trainspotter, via steam age footplateman, to railway author and photographer, this is a link to it:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gricing-Real-story-Railway-Children/dp/1514885751

These are some totally unsolicited comments from people who have already read  Gricing:  Amazon Customer on 6 Jan. 2016 Format: Paperback Verified Purchase:  “Brilliant and interesting book”

By Amazon Customer on 17 Mar. 2016

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase

“Not a murder mystery, but one that I found hard to put down. One of the best additions to my collection of books about railways.”

‘treated myself to a copy of “Gricing” for Christmas, excellent reading.’

‘I’m enjoying your book. It’s a real page-turner, thought provoking and great photos, to boot’

‘I bought and enjoyed “Gricing” etc and would heartily recommend it to readers’. 

‘I was given what I believe to be your book called “Gricing” the other night.  Very much enjoyed the book if it is yours!

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‘better go in disguise’

44787&63395MPDOne loco disguised as another isn’t confined to ‘heritage railways’, indeed it began many years before railway preservation ever got started. Probably the most famous, and surviving, example is No.61000 Royal Scot, which had a name change way back in 1933. The LMS were invited to send one of their engines to the ‘Century of Progress Exposition’ in Chicago and the decision was made to send one of the ‘Royal Scot class 4-6-0s. The obvious choice was the doyen of the class No.(4)6100 Royal Scot, which had been built in 1927, by the North British Locomotive Co. Rather than send the six year old and rather care worn No.(4)6100 Royal Scot the LMS swapped name plates and numbers with No.(4)6152 The King’s Dragoon Guardsman, which was some 3 years younger, having rolled out of the shops in 1930, and sent her instead.

No.46100 Royal Scot owes her survival not to any national policy of preserving locomotives with ‘history’, but to Billy Butlin and his holiday camps. No.46100 Royal Scot was withdrawn in 1962 and from 1963, following a cosmetic overhaul and re-paint into ‘crimson lake’ livery, she was on display at Butlin’s Skegness camp, where she remained until 1971, when she went to Bressingham.

In the photograph, Black 5 No.45428, has swapped identities with No.44787, which between 1955 and 1963, was allocated to 65A Eastfield (Glasgow) and is here carrying a 66B Motherwell MPD shed plate where she was based during the years 1963 to 65 and from where she was withdrawn in November of that year. A working life of just 18 years, which is very short for a locomotive which would quite easily have been expected to work 40, 50, or more.

I have written a book about my 60 years involvement with railways, from trainspotter, via steam age footplateman, to railway author and photographer, this is a link to it:  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gricing-Real-story-Railway-Children/dp/1514885751

These are some totally unsolicited comments from people who have already read  Gricing: Amazon Customer on 6 Jan. 2016 Format: Paperback Verified Purchase:  “Brilliant and interesting book”

By Amazon Customer on 17 Mar. 2016

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase

Not a murder mystery, but one that I found hard to put down. One of the best additions to my collection of books about railways.

‘treated myself to a copy of “Gricing” for Christmas, excellent reading.’

‘I’m enjoying your book. It’s a real page-turner, thought provoking and great photos, to boot’

‘I bought and enjoyed “Gricing” etc and would heartily recommend it to readers’. 

‘I was given what I believe to be your book called “Gricing” the other night.  Very much enjoyed the book if it is yours!

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Slogging up Slochd

44871carrpassThe GB IX tour has been something of a Curate’s egg, good in parts. Saturday, when this shot was taken, was a lovely day with everything  on time and good photographic conditions, for much of the route through Perthshire and on into the Highlands. Things on the footplate look good too, the driver sits, arm on the window sill and looking relaxed. Across the fireman’s side things seem equally relaxed, as No.44871 has her safety valves open, despite being on the climb to Slochd summit – 5 miles of climbing with some pretty stiff gradients – including 2 miles at 1:60 and another 2 at 1:70.

However, just how much effort No.44871 was actually putting in on this climb is open to some debate.  Unseen, but not unheard, was the Class 47 diesel on the rear of the train which did seem to be ‘helping’ – just a bit.  All of which brings me to Tuesday’s run and an extended stop over in Perth due to an issue with the brake, which, sadly for me, resulted in a 100 mile round trip and no photo!! The train was more than an hour late away from Perth – I had a previous appointment and couldn’t wait to see if she made it or not – she did, but alas too late!!

Hope you enjoy the passing shot on Slochd which is in lieu of the one at Forteviot, I didn’t get!!

I have written a book about my 60 years involvement with railways, from trainspotter, via steam age footplateman, to railway author and photographer, this is a link to it:  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gricing-Real-story-Railway-Children/dp/1514885751

These are some totally unsolicited comments from people who have already read  Gricing: Amazon Customer on 6 Jan. 2016 Format: Paperback Verified Purchase:  “Brilliant and interesting book”

By Amazon Customer on 17 Mar. 2016

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase

Not a murder mystery, but one that I found hard to put down. One of the best additions to my collection of books about railways.

‘treated myself to a copy of “Gricing” for Christmas, excellent reading.’

‘I’m enjoying your book. It’s a real page-turner, thought provoking and great photos, to boot’

‘I bought and enjoyed “Gricing” etc and would heartily recommend it to readers’. 

‘I was given what I believe to be your book called “Gricing” the other night.  Very much enjoyed the book if it is yours!

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All the 5s 55

45407&44871Dunkeld

In that great cosmic bingo game of life some numbers are up, whilst others await the cry ‘full house’. In the slightly less cosmic bingo game of which locos made it and which didn’t, when the Grim Reaper came, not with a scythe, but a gas axe, has been the subject of much lamentation, weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth.  In some cases scattered bits of DNA have been pooled and cloned to grow missing gaps in the record, in others, ancient plans and runes have been read, incantations raised, and nut by bolt, drag box by valve rod, new machines have been raised from the dead.

In my own small way I too am involved in this process, as a supporter, and member of the 82045 Locomotive Trust. All the original BR 82xxx Class ended up in fridges, washing machines, and your car, so a new one is being built, at Bridgnorth, on the Severn Valley Railway. The 82xxx were hardly ‘stars’ not like a Brighton Atlantic, A1 or Patriot, but in almost every other respect they are the perfect Heritage Railway locomotive, easy to fire, reasonably weather proof cabs for all that bunker first running and an awful lot of fun when you open them out a bit.

In the 60s we raced Juicers out of Waterloo with 10,11, or 12 coaches, empty stock to Clapham carriage sidings, that made them bark. We had them on the ‘Kenny Belle’, a special train which ran between Clapham Junction Station and Kensington Olympia, just for the workers at the big GPO sorting office – bit of a hump away from Kenny up to Clapham and we made them chatter, just for the hell of it.

The photograph, taken just north of Inver tunnel on the Highland main line, near Dunkeld, shows Ian Riley’s Black 5s No.45407 and 44871, with their support coaches, passing the 55mph speed restriction, as they make their way to Inverness, for a rail tour working.

If you enjoy my photos and writing - I'm sure you'd enjoy my ebook 'Gricing' the sales of which help to keep this blog running. The links below will take you to it. You can read a sample for free and you don't need a Kindle - there's a free app so you can read it, and view the photos at screen size, on you PC.
http://www.amazon.com/Gricing-real-story-Railway-Children-ebook/dp/B00ML0QYK2
or for British readers.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gricing-real-story-Railway-Children-ebook/dp/B00ML0QYK2

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A genuinely unique survivor

Sir W.A.Stanier’s mixed traffic classic the ‘Black 5′ was one of the best loved and most versatile locomotives ever to run on British Railways, there were, at one time, 842 of them. However, only one of them was ever built with outside Stephenson’s link motion – and here she is No.44767, now named, possibly ironically, George Stephenson. No. 44767 was built the same year as I was, (1947), though she looks in better fettle!

The photograph was taken at one of the most photogenic locations on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, Darnholme about 1/2 mile east of Goathland – the mythic Aidensfield of TV series Heartbeat fame.No. 44767 has spent much of here life in preservation, working on the NYMR, though she did have a spell out on the main line, some years ago now.

The driver has the sanders on which accounts for the steam at ground level, but the action is all at the chimney top as she blasts her way round the curve on the 1/49 climb up to Goathland – a fairly stiff test for both engine and crew.

via A genuinely unique survivor.

If you have enjoyed my blogs – I have written a book about my 60 years involvement with railways, from trainspotter, via steam age footplateman, to railway author and photographer, this is a link to it:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gricing-Real-story-Railway-Children/dp/1514885751

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A genuinely unique survivor

44767portraitedit1

Sir W.A.Stanier’s mixed traffic classic the ‘Black 5’ was one of the best loved and most versatile locomotives ever to run on British Railways, there were, at one time, 842 of them. However, only one of them was ever built with outside Stephenson’s link motion – and here she is No.44767, now named, possibly ironically, George Stephenson. No. 44767 was built the same year as I was, (1947), though she looks in better fettle!

The photograph was taken at one of the most photogenic locations on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, Darnholme about 1/2 mile east of Goathland – the mythic Aidensfield of TV series Heartbeat fame. No. 44767 has spent much of here life in preservation, working on the NYMR, though she did have a spell out on the main line, some years ago now.

The driver has the sanders on which accounts for the steam at ground level, but the action is all at the chimney top as she blasts her way round the curve on the 1/49 climb up to Goathland – a fairly stiff test for both engine and crew.

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